Reaction Shot: THE BATMAN
We finally have a first look at Matt Reeve’s The Batman which stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, which Walter Hamada, DC President, confirmed earlier today will be in a separate universe in the DC Multiverse to anything else.
In the Q&A before the trailer, Reeves revealed that the story is in Batman’s second year in Gotham and that he will be investigating a series of murders unlike anything he’s encountered which are tied to the systemic corruption in Gotham and how they link with his family.
The trailer is incredibly atmospheric with a psychological thriller tone and impressive cinematography. If it isn’t already clear, I am now super hyped for this film which looks to be the first time we see comic books greatest detective live up to that mantle, in a film that is inspired by, according to Reeves, Chinatown, The French Connection and Taxi Driver.
Let’s breakdown some of the moments from the trailer:
This ain’t your Granddad’s Batman.
The first image, or (more importantly) sound in the trailer is some one tapping up someone’s face and then their slow, raspy breath through the tape as the suffocate. This going to be a dark film if this grizzly murder is anything to go by.
It is also now clear that The Riddler is going to be the major villain of the film, seen by the taunting letter for Batman. The Riddler is fond of testing Batman’s intelligence against his own and leaving calling cards at his crime scenes.
We then get a shot of the Batsuit in motion and not dosed in red lights like in the first test footage. The tactile look gives it a grounded quality, like anyone could put it together and not a multi-millionaire.
Reeves’ take seems to adhere to that aesthetic with the Batmobile also being more ‘real’ with it being a supped-up muscle car instead of a giant tank.
That also carries over to the Batcave which seems less like a cave and more like a bunch of tables dumped in an abandoned building. As Reeve has said, this is Batman in his infancy. He’s slowly making a name for himself in Gotham and hasn’t quite gotten everything he needs put together. It is a nice touch then that he isn’t already a full developed Batman, nor is he going through his origin again like with every other Batman incarnation.
We then get glimpses of Zoe Kravtiz’s Catwoman, seen rappelling through a skylight before cracking a safe. She is also not the full-formed Catwoman, as her suit is just a cut-up ski mask and a jacket and pants. There is still the hint of the ears seen in the mask, but not any version of the Catwoman costume seen before.
This scene is ripped straight from Batman: The Long Halloween when Batman and Catwoman first meet as she is trying to rob crime boss, Carmine Falcone, played by John Turturro in this film.
The money shot of the trailer is Batman facing off against some clown-faced goons (hmmm?) as the rain pours down his face. He easily dispatches one goon, before continuing to pummel his face into the pavement with his fists. He looks up at the question as to who he is and responds: I am vengeance.
It is an iconic Batman moment and look. The rain, the dirty streets, the thugs, the brutal violence. And the dialogue made famous in Batman: The Animated Series where Batman continues that line saying “I am vengeance. I am the night. I AM BATMAN!”
It is a perfect way to end the trailer, with the stinger at the end of Riddler teasing Batman with his personal connection with the Riddler’s murder victims, hinting towards the larger corruption in Gotham, Reeves spoke of.
This trailer is a departure from any of the other Batman films before with a focus on a crime, murder mystery thriller and less of a superhero film. All for the better as Reeves and co. offer a unique, dirty take on the Caped Crusader that is sure to have fans pumped.
The Batman is out October 2021.